Friday, 30 December 2011

RIP Grandfather

5 years ago today, we got a call from the hospital saying that my Grandfather (Terrence Maher) had died.

For as long as I remember he had made regular trips with my Granny to our house every Saturday. They taught us piano and theory. Then they'd usually play cards with my parents. It was great. Grandfather had always been musical. It was great.
There was one slight downfall - he had cancer. He was supposed to die 10 years previously, but he continued to live. They had to move out of their house to stay closer to the hospital. Soon, they had to close down their music shop. They sold everything. I got a clarinet, and began to learn. Not that I knew it then, but, Grandfather would never hear me play.
He soon went to hospital, and on the day of his death, my Dad and Granny were with him. He knew his time was coming. He prayed the Hail Mary. He was peaceful.
We all miss him greatly, and I remember him by continuing my life in music.

Rest In Peace, Grandfather

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Our trip to New South Wales

My Sister on the pony
On the 6th of September I woke up with excitement bubbling up in my chest. We were heading off to NSW! The past two weeks had been spent on packing, and it was all loaded up in the bus.
We headed to Mildura on Tuesday (a 4 - 5 hour drive) and stayed with one of my uncles. We also picked up my 18 year old sister. We stayed there overnight - having quite a good time with our cousins.
The next day we drove around 8 1/2 hours up to Bathurst and stayed with another auntie and uncle. (well, half of us stayed with them- the other half stayed in a hotel, including me). And that was really fun.
The next day we drove another 8 - 9 hours (ish) and arrived at the B's house.
On Friday we went out to a sports thing and held a book display (for my parents' homeschooling company, Adnil Press ). That went great aswell :)
We road one of the B's - my first time on one!
On Saturday, we went to a pet porpoise pool - which was really fun! We saw penguins, got kissed by a dolphin and a seal, pet the dolphins, and we also fed fish. After we finished - we went to a park and beach that was right next-door. We had lunch and went for a walk along the beach, and, seemingly very soon, it was time to go back to the B's house.
The next day was, basically, church, and packing for camp.
Me getting kissed by a dolphin

Kite flying
On Monday September 12th we started a 2 - 3 hour drive from The B's house to Lennox Head. We arrived at nearly 10 in the morning. It turned out we were slightly too early to even enter the camp site as it hadn't been completely cleaned from the previous camp, so we spent a while on the beach. When we entered the camp site - we started by unpacking all of our stuff. Last year we stayed in one big cabin with a little kitchen added on, but this year, as we were paying for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (last year it was just lunch and dinner) we stayed in 2 smaller cabins - the teenagers had one and Mum Dad and the two youngest had another. As we were finishing up unpacking, the R family rocketed up and we moved as fast as we could so we could go out and say hi. We helped unpack all of their food and cooking stuff - taking it to the kitchen/dining area. Then we set up the tables and chairs for meal times - we had to set up enough spots for 90 people, but Dad easily figured out a plan :) . We just set three rows of tables with 15 chairs on each side - so that means 30 chairs in a row, making 90 chairs. While we were doing this, more and more people arrived. Soon everyone had arrived - and the day was spent talking and having a good time with friends we hadn't seen in a whole year. We also went down to the beach, but it was pretty cold so I didn't go swimming - which I found out was a smart thing when people started coming out of the water and were basically frozen :P While we were on the beach we did some kite flying, my Dad got our kite up the highest, though one of the B's got his up pretty close. At 5:00 we had Mass - in Latin so I got lost a couple of times, and then at 5:30 we had tea. Later, at 7, we did the Rosary + Benediction. After this, I had a choir practice for Mass the next day - it went pretty well :) . Right after the practice we had some 'Ice-breaker' games. We all sat down at the 3 rows of tables in our appropriate teams (Mackillop Green, Bosco Red, or Assisi Blue) - I was in Bosco Red this year :) We did some 'beating of beats' on the tables, our laps, and also by clapping our hands and clicking our fingers. One of the games we played was for everybody to have a balloon (not blown up) and they had to blow it up and put it at the end of the table - the team who finished it first was the victor! Another game we played was we took the balloons, tied them to our ankles, and then we had to try to pop peoples balloons while keeping our balloons inflated. If our balloon popped, we were out! My balloon popped straight away :P Afterwards, we  decided to play Chinese Whispers. We also played a game which was you had to make a statement and then the next person along made a statement - and it was all supposed to end up as a story. The teams were slightly mixed up for this one.  Then the games were over - and the younger kids went to bed while the teenagers stayed up, playing ninja. I was one of the best players that night.. but then again... none of the other families at camp had ever played it before... so that may have had something to do with it :P Later everyone went to bed except for me, my Dad, and 2 of the other teenagers - and stayed up late (after midnight) talking. Eventually Dad said 'all right, bed time' and so we all went to bed to get rested up for day 2!

The Choir!
Tuesday dawned with me awaking rather cold.. my sleeping bag had been in our other cabin so I had spent the night with out it... yeah, it was pretty cold. I arose to get ready for church - early, because I had to have another choir practice before Mass. The practice went rather well, and when we had finished (apart from singing Panis Angelicus) we all went outside to await the start of Mass. Soon it was about to begin and we went inside so we could sing the entrance hymn. The mass progressed, and the people recieving the sacraments of first communion went up, and the people to receive confirmation were confirmed - and, seemingly very soon, the Mass was over and it was time to head back to camp. The day progressed, we had a little party for the first communicants and the kids who were confirmed. We went down to the beach again, and I went for a walk along the beach. Before Dinner at 5:30, the teens went for a talk, then dinner, then Rosary + Benediction. At 8, we all sat down for our appropriate teams again in the dining hall for a quiz night. It was really fun :) There was mainly movie quotes and stuff like that. After that, I once again stayed up pretty late and (at around 12-ish this time) I went to bed.

Dancing the 'Heel and Toe Polka'
On Wednesday, I got up, and got ready for Mass at 9AM. Then, we all prepared to go visit some rock pools, which was pretty cool :) we saw a couple of sea urchins, and some fish. And it was fun to walk along the rocks and in the pools getting our feet wet... aaaaaahhhhh... it felt nice. We returned home for lunch, and had another talk. Then we had Free time - this time, I meant to go down to the beach, but I started looking after some of the little kids, and I enjoyed it a lot so I stayed at the camp site. Then Dinner, Rosary, and then that night, we did dancing. We did some Line/Bush Dancing, Swing Dancing, and even a bit of Rock 'n Roll. It was fun. We started out with the chicken dance, and then one of the girls (Elyse) taught us how to Swing dance, I picked it up after a few tries of attempting to figure it out - it was fun. We stayed up till around 11 dancing, then we had to pack up because we didn't want to wake up the younger kids. After a little bit of talking, we went to bed.

At The Rock Pools

Concert Night
Thursday came, the last full day of camp. We got up for Latin Mass at 9 again, and then we moved in for... sports day. We did a 100m sprint, and then a 1.2km long-distance run. I walked this last one :P. Afterwards, we went to do Javelin, Shot-Put, and Discus. I did ok at these, better than last year for sure! :) After sports day, we went up for Lunch, had a 3rd Talk, and then went for Dinner. After Rosary, we had a Sports Day Presentation and a Concert. Bosco Red didn't win this year, in fact, we actually came 3rd out of, well, 3. I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but it did. At the concert, I performed on my clarinet 2 pieces out of my Concert Band Folder, and 2 more with Mum - it was pretty good :). Some of the older teens got up and sung a few beer songs, it was really good and pretty funny. After the Concert, there was the bonfire - the teenagers went down to the beach for a bonfire there, and we had a great time talking, eating chips and marshmallows, and singing songs. After a while, we went back up to the camp site, and into the dining room area. We were having an all nighter since it was the last night of camp. We played cards for a while, and then, at around 2am-ish, the lollies and chocolate came out. I can say that we went a bit hyper (well, 2 guys ate a heap of lollies - probably at least half of them, and they went really hyper). All in all, it was fun :)
At the beginning of the all nighter...

...and at the end

The supporters at the soccer match
My parents in the dune buggy
On Frday at around 5:30am, we started to clean up our mess before other campers started getting up. After we were all cleaned up, we sat down (and nearly fell asleep) while we waited for when it was time for Mass. After Mass, we had breakfast, and started packing. We were pretty organized, and soon(ish) we were all packed and ready to go. After we said our goodbyes, we left, heading to the H's house, where we would be staying for a week. That night, we went out to our friend's, Legolas', soccer grand finale game - we and 2 other families filled up a whole entire stand, and we were all supporting him and his team - a total of 36 supporters. Unfortunately, his team lost 7-0, but it was still good fun calling out support. That night, some of the people fell sick, and the next night, even more were sick. By the third day, nearly everyone was over it and we went out and drove around in their Dune Buggy. It was fun, I learnt to drive, and I didn't crash it! :P One day, we went out to one of another family from camp (the R's) house. One of the children were having her 13th birthday party, and so we had a great time there :) . There, we started with a game where one person shovelled jelly in your mouth, then you ran across a little obstacle course, with the jelly still in your mouth, and spat it out into a container. My team lost - just! Afterwards, we chucked jelly at each other. Then we had a water fight, yay! We enjoyed chucking water balloons at one another. Another game we played was a game which was a 3-legged race, and then we also had a balloon between our legs, and an egg-and spoon race, it was quite interesting. Another game we played was where one person lay down under a chair, and another stood on top. The person under the chair had an ice-cream cone in his/her mouth, and the person on top of the chair had to drop ice cream into the cone - and then poured topping on top, and then sprinkles on top of that - we got pretty messy haha. When we finished our games, we had a bonfire and dinner, and later, we had the cake. It was great. After the party, we went back to the H house for a nice... long..... sleep.
Most nights, there was us, the H family, and the R family, and so there was a total of 28 people at dinner time - it did seem a little crowded. :)
Dinner Time!
One day we went down to the river, and I learnt how to skim stones - my record was 3 skips.
Another night we had a movie night, we watched (over 2 nights) Shrek 4, The Green Hornet, I am Number Four, and The Phantom. It was great :)
Movie Night

Although it was great, all good things must come to an end. So we said goodbye to our friends, and started our long trip home - arriving home 2 days later. We had an awesome time in NSW.
Friends :)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Inheritance Cycle (Eragon) Character Quiz

This is a quiz to see which character from The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini you are most like

I am most like Brom

You are indeed wise and experienced! You may encounter foes along your path and you are definitely brave enough to face them. However, you are wise enough to know when you can avoid a fight and save your energy. Your keen ability to think on your feet, resourcefulness, and ability to make allies are skills invaluable in any conflict.

Friday, 29 July 2011

State Music Camp

From the 10th - 15th of July I was in Adelaide for a music camp. Camp actually only started on the 11th but I  went down the day before because it started the next day at quater past eight - I didn't particularly want to get up and leave at 6am in the morning for the 3 hour trip to Adelaide. During the first half of the week I stayed with some friends and then with some friends of the friends (which our now our friends).
First day we were put into our ensembles, and I was put into the Shephard Concert Band (the other ones were orchestras). It was great because there were (at least) 15 other clarinets apart from me in our band :D
It started with everyone assembling into the main hall. Then there was the morning meeting. We were allowed to take the music home (or where we're staying) to practice but we had to return them before the meeting - otherwise we got 'publicly shamed' which was, he'd read out the part that was missing (eg. Shephard Concert Band, second clarinet, desk 2.) and then everyone would say.... "shaaaaaaaaaaaame" - it was funny. I didn't get shamed once! =D
We practised from 8:30ish - either 10:30 or 10:45 (am) - this was our morning tea break. And then we did another practice from 10:45/11:00 - Lunch. After lunch there was a meeting thing and they told us who didn't return their music before lunch - they got shamed too.
Then we practised from after lunch till the end of the day (usually around 3:30)
Our practices was either;
a) A full rehearsal with the whole band
b) A practice with just your instruments - eg. all the trumpets went into one room, the trumpets in another, the flutes in another etc. etc. etc.
c) A sectional practice - all the woodwinds / all the brass

Then... I caught the bus and went home (my first time on a public bus that week)

The performance went rather well (on the 15th) I really enjoyed it - and I'm pretty sure everyone else did too!
It was a great week!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


After the conferences last week, my brother, Dad, and I all stayed with our Granny, 2 Aunties, Uncle and 4 (boy) cousins. We had a great time, I helped out with the cooking (chocolate pudding and chocolate chocolate chip biscuits, yum!) while my brother played computer games with our cousins - I joined the games a little later!
We stayed there for 5 days, on Sunday I went to mass and used the new translation for the words - since my local church still uses the old ones, it was confusing, but I got through it all right. On Monday morning, it was time to leave, so we said 'goodbye' to our Granny, Aunty, Uncle, and two cousins (the other two were asleep) and headed home. I can say, I was tired by the end! :-) It was a good trip, can't wait to go  back!

Saturday, 2 July 2011


On Tuesday, July 28th, my brother, father, and I jumped into the bus to go to Adelaide for a homeschooling conference. At the conference, we got to listen to and meet Dr Jay Wile, who wrote our science books. His books are published by Apologia, and they are for high school students. His books are; General Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, Advanced

We all enjoy his books so much, and it was such an exciting experience to meet him!

At 5pm the very same day that we went to Adelaide, the conference ended and we had to travel to Melbourne for the next conference, which was the next day. I can say this, I was really tired! We arrived in Melbourne at around 2am, and we set up our sleeping bags, and fell asleep. At the conference the next day we had a very good time - we had a hotdog each (yay!) and my  brother and I also had a sundae each (double yay!) At around 8.30pm, Dr Wile finished his last and went back to the place where he was staying to pack and maybe have a little rest since that he was going to catch a plane back to America at 3am. We all helped to pack up and clean up. It was fun and we met many new people. All in all, they were great conferences!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

There, and back again!

During the last week - Monday the 13th to Friday the 17th of June, I, and my sister and brother, have been sailing on the One & All sailing trip. We drove a 4 and a half hour trip to Port Lincoln the night before, and then stayed on the ship overnight so we helped to clean the ship (in the saloon, which is basically the dining-room) before we went up onto land to be assigned into our watches. My brother was in 'Port' watch, my sister in 'Middle' watch and I was in 'Starboard' watch. On day 1 we climbed the mast, and learned the basics about setting sails. I only started to feel seasick after I climbed the mast.

We then sat down and wrote down our week goals. Mine was to learn how to navigate and to go out onto the bow net, which is the net at the front of the ship. I got to go out there later that same day! Since it was a very calm day, we sat there for probably at least half an hour, it was so nice! Then later on, as we went down to our bunks, we heard the alarm siren go off! I jumped up the stairs and hurried to my watches gathering point. It turned out it was just a drill, so we knew what to do in case there was an emergency. During the talk, my watch leader comes up to the aft deck - the back of the ship, where we all were, and she says 'there's a whale!' we went down and looked and, sure enough, there was a humpback whale! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera at the time and so I didn't get any pictures :( . It was only a small one since the bigger ones have already (or at least started) migrating. After that we relaxed until my first watch, which was from 6pm-8pm. The picture I have here is of the 'helm', basically the raised part of the ship with the steering wheel - it is located on the aft deck

Day 2 - I was woken up for my 4am - 8am watch, and nearing the end of my watch, we anchored at the Neptune Islands. While there, nobody had to do a watch, and so we all watched as the crew fished. Whatever the caught was thrown back into the ocean, but it was all good fun :)
My brother wanted to fish, but he never got the chance, I think another crew member used his fishing rod. After being anchored there for a while, we left, only to find out that while we were there we were off the charts! Nobody else could find us, and they didn't know where we were! They were, literally, two minutes away from sending a helicopter to find us! But we weren't lost so it's all good ;) We also saw another whale, and we also saw dolphins. Once again, no camera = no pictures. I talked to someone on day 2 and became friends with them, we basically just talked about different lifestyles (I'm home schooled, they're not, etc. etc.)

Day 3 -  We were supposed to get up at 11:30pm to get ready to go on our 12am-4am watch, but I sorta woke up at 11:30, as did another member of my watch, and I heard them ask one of the members of my sisters watch, who was on before us, why they didn't wake us up. It turned out that we had anchored, well, actually, we all knew that, and that's what woke us up - it was so loud! We anchored at kangaroo island, and it was at this beach that the first mate hadn't been for ten years! That's how hard it is to anchor there, we were so lucky to go there! Well, we got ready and had a beach day, played some games, did some talking, did some wading in the water (I didn't feel like swimming), and also did a clean up of the beach. After that, we learned how to navigate, I grasped the basic information, and then could kinda put it together but it was hard. There was all sorts of things to consider, the wind, the way the compass isn't pointing directly to the north but a bit off to the side (which is where the actual north pole is) and other things like that. I then went onto my 8pm-12pm watch.

Day 4 - Today was basically our sailing day! No anchoring/tutoring or anything like that. We did some tacking, which is turning the ship so the wind hits the sails when your sailing upwind - basically sailing in a zigzag. And then we also talked and had fun :) . I forgot to say earlier on, we had cleaning stations each day. On day 2 I had the saloon, day 3 the bedrooms and bathrooms (the bathrooms were called the heads and the bedroom was just bunks) and on Day 4 my watch had the deck. It was quite easy, we had to polish all the brass on the ship until they shone, and then we also wiped the seats, the railings, and scrubbed the deck (with a 
hose and some broom things). Today we also had a quiz - with questions about the ship with a couple of other random questions popped in. My watch won (yeah!) It was all really fun!
The picture is what the ocean looked like out of a port-hole in the saloon.

Day 5 - The day we anchored in Port Adelaide! We anchored somewhere else in the dock in the morning, because we weren't going to get into our 'spot' until 3pm. During the wait, my watch had to clean the saloon again, this time with the captain coming to inspect it (every other time it was the first or second mate). One girl spent nearly the whole time polishing this brass pole, and telling everyone who touched it off. When the captain came, he had a quick look, and, without even looking at the pole, said it was very good and gave us a bag of lollies. After that we wrote a letter to ourselves, which will be sent to us in 6 months or so, with a piece of paper with our goals - on the back of our 'goal' paper, everyone in our watch wrote 1 nice thing about us, and that's going to be sent out in 6 months with our letter. After that, we were given a One&All t-shirt, and went up on deck. Some climbed the mast a bit, but I stayed down on deck. A bridge went up (it looked cool!), we sailed underneath it, and then we docked. We were all handed out a certificate to say we have completed the One&All voyage, and we formed a production line to get all the bags onto the dock. We then went to the pancake shop and had a chocolate swiss shake, it was yummy! After that, we went to the saloon while my brother got ready to go, and had a laugh with the crew. I think I should clarify that the crew is not everyone on the ship, just the captain, first mate, second mate, engineer, cook, bosun, and the watch leaders and assistant watch leaders. Everyone else was the trainees. Then we all loaded up in the bus, and went home! It was a great voyage!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A nice surprise!

One evening a young girl was just finishing up washing dishes, with a slight smile on her face, when suddenly she hears her Mum say (quite loudly, but not quite shouting) something from the lounge room. Looking up and turning, she sees her Mother burst through the door. "You've been accepted!" she cried joyously. The young girl stares, bewildered for a second, then it finally dawned on her. A few weeks previously she had sent in an application form and audition CD to apply for a State Music Camp - for which many people apply, but only some are accepted. She couldn't believe it! Grinning from ear to ear, she went to read the letter herself The girl's name was Rosia.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Yesterday was my Pop's 90th birthday. Earlier this week he had a fall and broken his leg, so we went to the hospital to see him (a three-hours drive). When we got there we went into the gift store and bought him a teddy bear for his present. Since he is blind and nearlly deaf, we thought that this would be the best one we could get.
We saw him, said hello, and talked to him for a little and he felt very happy after that. He held his teddy bear, so pleased with his present!
After we left, we dropped my brother off at the One&All sailing ship, and he's off (again) sailing - see him in a couple of weeks!

And, today is my sister's 9th birthday! She's excited about that. Yesterday she got a little early birthday present which was a Webkinz owl. Webkinz is a toy that you can buy. It has this tag on it and after you sign up for an account on Webkinz, you can play online games with your pet and feed him/her and things. My younger sisters love the website! So, you can imagine my sister's face when she recieved her present!

 So yes, two happy birthdays! For a 90 and a 9 year old! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

This is good!

For something that is very interesting and funny, go to Google Translate and type in the lyrics to your favourite songs. Then translate them into Japanese and copy and paste the Japanese lyrics and translate them back into English - and see the results! Here are one that we did:

Original Lyrics -
I like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly
it's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep
because everything is never as it seems

Translated Lyrics -
I want to make the planet Earth believe it will be slow
When it is asleep, I would say that what is happening is rather difficult
Anyway, all that is not so

Narnia Personality Test

This is a test to see which character from The Chronicles Of Narnia you are most like

I am Edmund
As Edmund, while you may be quick to lose your temper or appear unfriendly, you are known for doing the right thing in the end.

Ranger's Apprentice - Quiz

King Duncan
Which character from the Ranger's Apprentice series are you?
Hi! In this quiz, see which Ranger's Apprentice character you are. The possible characters are: Erak, King Duncan, Evanlyn, Will, Halt, Gilan, Horace, or Alyss.

I got King Duncan

King Duncan is the king of Araluen. He is quite young for a king. Evanlyn is his lost daughter.

Monday, 30 May 2011


This year we were set a set list of books to read and we had to write a critique on every one. But since it wasn't happening we decided to just write critiques on books we chose - and I (of course) chose Ranger's Apprentice!